Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Obituary: Ruth Muriel Eddy (21 May 2009)

Chrispy regrets not seeing this sooner. Mrs. Bell, by her testimony, did not meet Lovecraft as he always arrived after her bedtime, but she listened with rapt attention, under her covers, as he read aloud his horror stories and told tales about cats.

To this, Chrispy can add that Ruth aged 13, was a regular contributor to a children's letter column (in a newspaper, The Day) called "Uncle Andy's" circa 1935-1936. Her litle letters to Uncle Andy are adorable, and at least one was quite a thriller about a cat rescuing a man trapped in a freezer. Hail, Kappa Alpha Tau!

Ruth M. (Eddy) Bell, 87, died May 21, 2009 at St. Elizabeth Home, East Greenwich.

She was the wife of the late William E. Bell.

Born on May 27, 1921 in Providence, she was a daughter of the late Clifford M. Eddy Jr., and Muriel E. (Gammons) Eddy.

After her marriage in 1986, she lived in West Palm Beach, Fla. until her husband’s death in 2003. Ruth was assistant promotion manager for WJAR-TV in the 1950s and a public relations specialist for the Rhode Island Department of Employment Security for 10 years. She was also director of senior citizens groups in Providence and East Providence.

She served as chairman of the RI Chapter of American Women in Radio-TV, was a member of the National Council on Aging, and was listed in Who’s Who in American Women.

Ruth had many articles published in national magazines and wrote several volumes of poetry as R.M. Eddy. She was the founder of the Rhode Island Writers’ Guild in 1950, serving in various capacities as president, vice president and secretary.

A 1939 graduate of Central High School in Providence, she was editor of the Black & Gold yearbook. She received the D.A.R. Good Citizenship Award and the Campbell Trophy for Scholastic excellence and leadership. She was an alumnus of the class of ’47 of Eastern Nazarene College and received the Brown University extension division diploma in 1996. She was a member of Westminster Unitarian Church in Rhode Island and a member of Unity in the Pines in West Palm Beach, Fla.

She leaves her loving sister, Fay A. (Eddy) Dyer of Warwick. She is also survived by nieces Helen Antonizio, Dorothy Fryer and Frances Suita of Rhode Island, Susan Barnes and Laural Moseley of Georgia and Bunny Lancaster of Virginia; nephews John Eddy of Georgia, Thomas Dyer of Iowa and John Dyer and James Dyer of Rhode Island; stepdaughters Elaine Bowman and Kathleen Wood; and two grandchildren of Florida.
She was the sister of the late Clifford M. Eddy of Macon, Georgia.

A funeral service will be held May 26 at 12 noon at Carpenter-Jenks Funeral Home & Crematory, 659 East Greenwich Ave., West Warwick. Interment will follow in Swan Point Cemetery. Visitation will be May 26 from 11 a.m.-12 noon prior to service. Information and condolences available at www.carpenterjenks.com.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Muriel Eddy, President of Writer's Group

Recently found in newspaper archives:

Mrs. A. J. Meunier of Canonicus Avenue entertained 20 members of the Writer's Guild of Providence at a luncheon at Johnson's Hummocks Thursday. Mrs. Muriel Eddy, guild president, was among those present.


Mrs. A. J. Meunier of Conanicus Avenue received an invitation to join the Hollywood Beachcombers' Club in California after viewing in the Rhode Islander magazine the stone collection cf Mrs. Meunier which was sent in by Mrs. Muriel Eddy, president of the Writers' Guild of Rhode Island.


Mrs. Eddy was President at least through 1971 accrding to a note in The Writer's Market, 1971, when she lived at 688 Prarie Avenue, Providence, RI 02905

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Paul, Minion of Cthulhu, Is Worshipped

It's been more than a month since Spain won the World Cup and Paul the octopus won the hearts of the human world (except the Dutch) by perfectly predicting the winners of Germany's seven matches and Spain's victory in the final.

He has starring roles in Chinese movies, book deals and a line of merchandise all in the works.

Finally, if you were doubting Paul's idol status, at the India International Jewelry Show on Friday (20 August 2010), a likeness of Paul made of 3.3 kilograms (7.3 pounds) of solid gold was unveiled. It's valued at exactly $133,404.
Link: click

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

A "Colourful" 1888 Story about Jack Rabbits?

They were the usual winter prints of red squirrels, white rabbits, and foxes, but the brooding farmer professed to see something not quite right about their nature and arrangement. ... There had been a moon, and a rabbit had run across the road, and the leaps of that rabbit were longer than either Ammi or his horse liked ... Colour Out of Space



Millions of jack rabbits migrated from Oregon to Idaho during the recent cold spell in the far northwest. They crossed the frozen waters of the Snake river in hordes, and presented a wonderful spectacle to the people who saw them.

The cat story is pretty interesting fro fans of the Kappa Alpha Tau. The aligator story - well one supposes that Washington politicians rarely change their scales whatever the century.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lovecraft Interactive Online Films

(About 7 minutes)

Thanks, Will, for finding this and alerting everyone!

Manton Mitchell: Update (24 July 1909)

Lovecraft played soldier with a real soldier, Manton Mitchell. A few years older that HPL, his father, a chemical industrialist, also became a member of the legislature (perhaps as a way to wrangle a West Point appointemnt for Manton).

In July 1909, Lovecraft was lost and uncertain. He began about this time to regroup and take a correspondence course. Could news of his old playmate's success have prompted him? He sometimes wrote of Manton, who became a WWI war hero.

Below is an interesting bit of news:

According to a notice received by Governor Pothier from the War Department, Manton Campbell Mitchell, who recently was graduated from West Point Military Academy, has been assigned to the First United States Infantry, with the rank of Second Lieutenant. Lieutenant Mitchell is a native of Providence.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Alpheus Packard writes a book: Lamarck

Longtime readers of the HPL blog know that I have two Lovecraft quirks - one to uncover exactly what the relationships and espionage of Houdini with Eddy, and Lovecraft (together) were in the 1924-1926 era, and to link Alpheus Spring Packard, Jr to the Beast in the Cave, HPL's 1904-1905 weird short story.

No smoking guns on either of these, to date, but Chrispy did uncover this little gem from 23 November 1901. This means the book circulated a good 2-1/2 years before HPL came across the notion of Mammoth Cave, and the phenomenon of devolution. Of course, today, devolution is completely discredited, but not so in 1900. Biologists were puzzled by the loss of what they believed to be higher traits - blind crawfish in caves being one of these. HPL was already trying to fathom why his sophisticated and noble Providence was being overwhelmed by swarthy skinned immigrants. (Speaking of being ripped from today's headlines? Are we so "evolved" in the 21st century?)

Back on track, here is an article pericope from the New York Tribune of 23 November 1901 speaking of Packard's new book. The writer of the book is Alpheus Spring Packard, Jr. noted biologist and senior professor at Brown University. His father, Apheus Spring Packard was well known and lauded as a professor of ancient languages. Sadly, after their deaths their memories completely faded from the record, although the late Stephen Jay Gould did mention Packard, Jr in his magnum opus of evolution.

Packard was a neo-Lamarkian, as is obvious from the book he wrote. It was an eclectic group, primarily in New England, and were holdouts of believing fully in Darwinism. It's also obvious who won that academic battle, as neo-Lamarkianism has been erased from everything except from Lovecraft's writngs which still circulate.

Later, Lovecraft was fascinated by writers such as Haeckel that assisted his - sorry to say this - racist points of view on first the Nordic-type, and later Aryan thoughts.

So, did a chance meeting or lecture by Packard lead 13 year old Lovecraft to race to the library and study harder than he had to that point in order to attempt to master a new theory? Of the hundreds of caves in new England - including the one in Foster, RI, why did he reach out to write about Mammoth Cave in far off Kentucky? Stay tuned, maybe we will uncover more on this mystery.


"organic evolution": Lamarck in 1801, proposed organic evolution as the explanation for the physical similarity among groups of organisms, and proposed a mechanism for adaptive change based on the inheritance of acquired characteristics.

He wrote of the giraffe:
"We know that this animal, the tallest of mammals, dwells in the interior of Africa, in places where the soil, almost always arid and without herbage, obliges it to browse on trees and to strain itself continuously to reach them. This habit sustained for long, has had the result in all members of its race that the forelegs have grown longer than the hind legs and that its neck has become so stretched, that the giraffe, without standing on its hind legs, lifts its head to a height of six meters."

Thus, acquired characteristics force evolved changes.

Contra Darwin who believed that survival of the fittest, those who have the characteristics most adaptive survive, and therefore all others begin to appear similar to those most adaptive. It is genetic driven, not adaptive driven.

The point may seem subtle, but it is profound. Only in fiction could Lovecraft's Rats in the Walls conclusion, or Beast in the Cave conclusion appear.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cautionary Note: William Vernon Phillips

If you are researching Whipple van Buren Phillips, you will note that he is frequently listed as "w v phillips". Caution, that a William Vernon Phillips becomes notable several years after the decease of our beloved Grandfather Whipple.

Below is from the Worcester, RI directory of 1920 shortly after the merger of companies. This is confusing, because Whipple also worked in steel, slag, and mining during his business career.

In brief here is his career:

William Vernon Phillips, immigrated to Philadelphia as a young man with his three brothers and two sisters. They came from Cardiff and worked in the scrap metal business. Vernon had great success. His import and export iron and steel business, F.R. Phillips and Sons was based in Philadelphia and Milan, Italy. He was also President of the Phillips-Laffitte Company and Chairman of the Board of the Perry Buxton* Doane Company. He served as mayor of his town, president of his country club, and deacon in his church. During World War I he was Chief of the War Industry Board in Washington, D.C. and on the Council of National Defense. After the Great War, he received the Knight of the Crown of Italy from the King. His obituary called him "an eminent statesman and capitalist."


* mispelled as Buston in the article quoted. C.P. corrected it here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Theodore Roosevelt 23 August 1902

(TR in Providence *see more caption notes at end)

At the age of 12, it's unlikely that Lovecraft attended this speech. However, as a fan he would have been very aware of the appearance.


Mr. Governor; and you, my fellow-citizens:

We are passing through a period of great commercial prosperity, and such a period is as sure as adversity itself to bring mutterings of discontent. At a time when most men prosper somewhat some men always prosper greatly ; and it is as true now as when the tower of Siloam fell upon all alike, that good fortune does not come solely to the just, nor bad fortune solely to the unjust. When the weather is good for crops it is good for weeds. Moreover, not only do the wicked flourish when the times are such that most men flourish, but, what is worse, the spirit of envy and jealousy springs up in the breasts of those who, though they may be doing fairly well themselves, see others no more deserving, who do better.

Wise laws and fearless and upright administration of the laws can give the opportunity for such prosperity as we see about us. But that is all that they can do. When the conditions have been created which make prosperity possible, then each individual man must achieve it for himself, by his own energy and thrift and business intelligence. If when people wax fat they kick, as they have kicked since the days of Jeshurun, they will speedily destroy their own prosperity. If they go into wild speculation and lose their heads, they have lost that which no laws can supply. If in a spirit of sullen envy they insist upon pulling down those who have profited most in the years of fatness, they will bury themselves in the crash of the common disaster. It is difficult to make our material condition better by the best laws, but it is easy enough to ruin it by bad laws.

The upshot of all this is that it is peculiarly incumbent upon us in a time of such material well-being, both collectively as a nation and individually as citizens, to show, each on his own account, that we possess the qualities of prudence, self-knowledge, and self-restraint. In our Government we need above all things stability, fixity of economic policy, while remembering that this fixity must not be fossilization, that there must not be inability to shift our laws so as to meet our shifting national needs. There are real and great evils in our social and economic life, and these evils stand out in all their ugly baldness in time of prosperity; for the wicked who prosper are never a pleasant sight. There is every need of striving in all possible ways, individually and collectively, by combinations among ourselves and through the recognized governmental agencies, to cut out those evils. All I ask is to be sure that we do not use the knife with an ignorant zeal which would make it more dangerous to the patient than to the disease.

One of the features of the tremendous industrial development of the last generation has been the very great increase in private, and especially in corporate, fortunes. We may like this or not, just as we choose, but it is a fact nevertheless; and as far as we can see it is an inevitable result of the working of the various causes, prominent among them steam and electricity. Urban population has grown in this country, as in all civilized countries, much faster than the population as a whole during the last century. If it were not for that, Rhode Island could not to-day be the State she is. Rhode Island has flourished as she has flourished because of the conditions which have brought about the great increase in urban life. There is evil in these conditions, but you can't destroy it unless you destroy the civilization they have brought about. Where men are gathered together in great masses, it inevitably results that they must work far more largely through combinations than where they live scattered and remote from one another. Many of us prefer the old conditions of life, under which the average man lived more to himself and by himself, where the average community was more self-dependent, and where even though the standard of comfort was lower on the average, yet there was less of the glaring inequality in worldly conditions which we now see about us in our great cities. It is not true that the poor have grown poorer; but some of the rich have grown so very much richer that, where multitudes of men are herded together in a limited space, the contrast strikes the onlooker as more violent than formerly. On the whole, our people earn more and live better than ever before, and the progress of which we arc so proud could not have taken place had it not been for the upbuilding of industrial centres, such as this in which I am speaking.

But together with the good there has come a measure of evil. Life is not so simple as it was; and surely, both for the individual and the community, the simple life is normally the healthy life. There is not in the great cities the feeling of brotherhood which there is still in country localities, and the lines of social cleavage are far more deeply marked.

For some of the evils which have attended upon the good of the changed conditions we can at present see no complete remedy. For others the remedy must come by the action of men themselves in their private capacity, whether merely as individuals or by combination. For yet others some remedy can be found in legislative and executive action—national, State, or municipal. Much of the complaint against combinations is entirely unwarranted. Under present-day conditions it is as necessary to have corporations in the business world as it is to have organizations, unions, among wage workers. We have a right to ask in each case only this: that good and not harm shall follow. Exactly as labor organizations, when managed intelligently and in a spirit of justice and fair play, are of very great service not only to the wage workers but to the whole community, as has been shown again and again in the history of many such organizations; so wealth, not merely individual, but corporate, when used aright, is not merely beneficial to the community as a whole, but is absolutely essential to the upbuilding of such a series of communities as those whose citizens I am now addressing. This is so obvious that it ought to be too trite to mention, and yet it is necessary to mention it when we see some of the attacks made upon wealth, as such.

Of course a great fortune, if used wrongly, is a menace to the community. A man of great wealth who does not use that wealth decently is in a peculiar sense a menace to the community, and so is the man who does not use his intellect aright. Each talent—the talent for making money, the talent for showing intellect at the bar, or in any other way, if unaccompanied by character, makes the possessor a menace to the community. But such a fact no more warrants us in attacking wealth than it does in attacking intellect. Every man of power by the very fact of that power is capable of doing damage to his neighbors: but we cannot afford to discourage the development of such men merely because it is possible they may use their power for wrong ends. If we did so we should leave our history a blank, for we should have no great statesmen, soldiers, merchants, no great men of arts, of letters, of science. Doubtless on the average the most useful citizen to the community as a whole is the man to whom has been granted what the Psalmist asked for—neither poverty nor riches. But the great captain of industry, the man of wealth, who alone or in combination with his fellows, drives through our great business enterprises, is a factor without whom the civilization that we see round about us here could not have been built up. Good, not harm, normally comes from the upbuilding of such wealth. Probably the greatest harm done by vast wealth is the harm that we of moderate means do ourselves when we let the vices of envy and hatred enter deep into our own natures.

But there is other harm; and it is evident that we should try to do away with that. The great corporations which we have grown to speak of rather loosely as trusts are the creatures of the State, and the State not only has the right to control them, but it is in duty bound to control them wherever the need of such control is shown. There is clearly need of supervision—need to possess the power of regulation of these great corporations through the representatives of the public, wherever, as in our own country at the present time, business corporations become so very powerful alike for beneficent work and for work that is not always beneficent. It is idle to say that there is no need for such supervision. There is, and a sufficient warrant for it is to be found in any one of the admitted evils appertaining to them.

We meet a peculiar difficulty under our system of government, because of the division of governmental power between the Nation and the States. When the industrial conditions were simple, very little control was needed, and the difficulties of exercising such control under our Constitution were not evident. Now the conditions are complicated and we find it hard to frame national legislation which shall be adequate; while as a matter of practical experience it has been shown that the States either cannot or will not exercise a sufficient control to meet the needs of the case. Some of our States have excellent laws—laws which it would be well indeed to have enacted by the national legislature. But the widespread differences in these laws, even between adjacent States, and the uncertainty of the power of enforcement, result practically in altogether insufficient control. I believe that the nation must assume this power of control by legislation ; if necessary, by constitutional amendment. The immediate necessity in dealing with trusts is to place them under the real, not the nominal, control of some sovereign to which, as its creatures, the trusts shall owe allegiance, and in whose courts the sovereign's orders may be enforced.

This is not the case with the ordinary so-called " trust " to-day; for the trust nowadays is a large State corporation, which generally does business in other States, often with a tendency toward monopoly. Such a trust is an artificial creature not wholly responsible to or controllable by any legislation, either by State or Nation, and not subject to the jurisdiction of any one court. Some governmental sovereign must be given full power over these artificial, and very powerful, corporate beings. In my judgment this sovereign must be the National Government. When it has been given full power, then this full power can be used to control any evil influence, exactly as the Government is now using the power conferred upon it by the Sherman anti-trust law.

Even when the power has been granted, it would be most unwise to exercise it too much, to begin by too stringent legislation. The mechanism of modern business is as delicate and complicated as it is vast, and nothing would be more productive of evil to all of us, and especially to those least well off in this world's goods, than ignorant meddling with this mechanism—above all, meddling in a spirit of class legislation or hatred or rancor. It is eminently necessary that the power should be had, but it is just as necessary that it should be exercised with wisdom and self-restraint. The first exercise of that power should be the securing of publicity among all great corporations doing an interstate business. The publicity, though non-inquisitorial, should be real and thorough as to all important facts with which the public has concern. Daylight is a powerful discourager of evil. Such publicity would by itself tend to cure the evils of which there is just complaint; it would show us if evils existed, and where the evils are imaginary, and it would show us what next ought to be done.

Above all, let us remember that our success in accomplishing anything depends very much upon our not trying to accomplish everything. Distrust whoever pretends to offer you a patent cure-all for every ill of the body politic, just as you would a man who offers a medicine which would cure every evil of your individual body. A medicine that is recommended to cure both asthma and a broken leg is not good for either. Man^1 kind has moved slowly upward through the ages, sometimes a little faster, sometimes a little slower, but rarely, indeed, by leaps and bounds. At times a great crisis comes in which a great people, perchance led by a great man, can at white heat strike some mighty blow for the right—make a long stride in advance along the path of justice and of orderly liberty. But normally we must be content if each of us can do something—not all that we wish, but something—for the advancement of those principles of righteousness which underlie all real national greatness, all true civilization and freedom. I see no promise of any immediate and complete solution of all the problems we group together when we speak of the trust question. But we can make a beginning in solving these problems, and a good beginning, if only we approach the subject with a sufficiency of resolution, of honesty, and of that hard common-sense which is one

of the most valuable, and not always one of the most common, assets in any nation's greatness. The existing laws will be fully enforced as they stand on the statute books without regard to persons, and I think good has already come from their enforcement. I think furthermore that additional legislation should be had and can be had, which will enable us to accomplish much more along the same lines. No man can promise a perfect solution, at least in the immediate future. But something has already been done, and much more can be done if our people temperately and determinedly will that it shall be done.

In conclusion let me add one word. While we are not to be excused if we fail to do whatever is possible through the agency of Government, we must keep ever in mind that no action of the Government, no action by combination among ourselves, can take the place-of the individual qualities to which in the long run every man must owe the success he can make of life. There never has been devised, and there never will be devised, any law which will enable a man to succeed save by the exercise of those qualities which have always been the prerequisites of success—the qualities of hard work, of keen intelligence, of unflinching will. Such action can supplement those qualities, but it cannot take their place. No action by the State can do more than supplement the initiative of the individual; and ordinarily the action of the State can do no more than to secure to each individual the chance to show under as favorable conditions as possible the stuff that there is in him.


* Underwood and Underwood stereoview. Close up image of Pres. Theodore Roosevelt delivering a speech. Title reads, "The prerequisites of success - hard work, keen intelligence, unflinching will - Pres. Theodor Roosevelt. Providence, R.I."

Seen at Ebay auction. A very rare image indeed.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Not a Shoggoth ... Not Nyarlathotep ... it is a ...

... certain animals strike us as particularly ugly ... the star-nosed mole, for instance, seems disturbing because {the star-nosed mole} looks like the animal has no face ...

"...the mad faceless god, howls blindly in the darkness ...", Rats in the Walls, HPL

Coast to Coast AM link:

NYT link:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Lovecraftian Sight: Flying Minions of Cthulhu?

'Flying Octopuses'

...on July 31st and August 1, 2010, a new world record was set for the most giant octopus kites flown at one time ... in Berkeley California ...


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Evangeline Larry: Teacher of Violin

Once again, we see that Lovecraft's sitz im leben (setting in life) places him in the midst of a "trend" in Providence. Recently, Chrispy has given you the biography of Mrs. Nauck, his violin teacher. "For two years I made such progress that Mrs. Nauck was enthusiastic...". She was, by Lovecraft's memory, the preeminent teacher for children. However, there were many others, it appears, who made a living teaching violin.

Providence was growing rapidly (akin to the growth of a Las Vegas today). Plenty of opportunity.

We saw a glimpse of Oscar C Roy, a Belgian. Today, we find another prominent violin teacher in Providence: Miss Evangeline Larry circa 1895.

For such teachers to have enough students for support, there had to be "a trend in the wind", methinks. It was the thing to do. Recall that in this era - the 1890's - much entertainment was done at home of the stylish and elite. Theater was held, but singing, piano playing, and so forth were often after dinner evening divertiments. (Watch the wonderful movie, Meet Me In St Louis, for instance, a nostalgic reproduction displaying circa 1903).

WHEN we affirm that one possesses the soul of genius, we have touched the foundation on which greatness is built. Evangeline Larry possesses in a large degree, both by nature and education, the elements which combine to make the true and successful musician. To know her and understand her temperament, is to recognize that she belongs to the class of artists who win honor and fame. Though born in Weston, Mass., in 1872, she removed to Penacook, N. H., soon after, where her father, Rev. John Hale Larry, was actively interested in educational work, and it was in the Granite state that she took her first violin lessons, when eight years of age, and commenced the development of her wonderful musical powers. Subsequently the family removed to Providence, R I., where her study became methodical, earnest work, her parents deciding to fit her for a professional career. For several years she has been a student with Herr Kneisel of Boston, and to-day she is the most prominent violin teacher in Providence. As a concert violinist she fills many engagements ; she plays with fine artistic taste and finish, possessing to an unusual degree that rare quality, soulfulness. Her musical insight and interpretation lend great charm to her rendition of the classics, while her coloring of some delicate bits of composition, is wonderfully dainty and exquisite. Miss Larry is modest and unassuming, with a sweet graciousness of manner which wins many warm friends. Musically considered, she is doing a phenomenal work for one so young. Strongly devoted to her art, it is her plan to broaden her culture by study in Europe. She has the ideal home environment, where she has been carefully nurtured and educated. Her musical ability has been used in pleasant cooperation with her father in his ministerial duties. Her summers are spent with the family at " The Manse," their summer home at Penacook.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Not a good year for Lovecraft. 1907 had started off terrific - he met Percival Lowell! - and then as he was heading for 18, he derailed somewhere along the way. No college. No career. Just sadness for a long time.

A nice 1907-1908 calendar.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

International Correspondence School (Modern Image)

Apparently this building, the Finch Building, went on the national register about 1976. It is in Scranton, Pa.

Providence Depot (1896) on Fire !

Lovecraft Loved Trains circa 1896. He would have noted this one, even though only 6.

Providence, RI Depot Fire, Feb 1896


Fire in Providence Which Threatens the Destruction of a Valuable Building.

Providence, R. I., Feb. 21.---The railroad station in this city known as the Providence Depot, is on fire.

Undoubtedly it will be burned to the ground.

The fire started a few minutes after midnight.

The New York Times, New York, NY 21 Feb 1896

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tracking the elusive Lovecraft: A TR Date !

In biographies of Lovecraft, it's stated that Lovecraft saw his hero Teddy Roosevelt at the Providence Opera House on August 1912.

A specific date can be given to this event. On 12 August 1912 in Chicago, the Progressive Party, nicknamed the Bull MooseParty, convened and nominated Theodore Roosevelt for their presidential candidate after the Republican convention was shattered by a split between Taft and Roosevelt.

Just days later, on 16 August 1912, a speech was given that Lovecraft attended. This was a reprisal of a previous triumphant appearance back in August of 1902. (See 23 August 2010 post, upcoming).

After the Bull Moose convention, Roosevelt stormed New England:

Providence, Rhode Island, 16 August 1912
A Speech on Boston Common 17 August 1912
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 22 August 1912
Burlington, Vermont 29 August 1912
St. Johnsbury, Vermont, 30 August 1912
Hartford, Connecticut, 2 September 1912

For Lovecraftians, it is often hard to nail down a specific date and time for the young Lovecraft. This is at one date that we can pin down with exact precision.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Call of Cthulhu: One Man Show

HP Lovecraft’s most famous work is brought to the stage in this one-man show from Michael Sabbaton.

Hill Street Theatre, 226 6522, until 30 Aug

more ... here ... click !

Thanks to Morgan Scorpion for bringing this to our attention!

International Correspondence School (3)

Lovecraft's Correspondence School (1908-1911)

(above: a vintage exam for math)

(above: a 1909 image of the International Correspondence School)

(above: a 1910 image of the School)

(above: It almost appears that someone thought the old postcards were forboding, and lightened this one up considerably. c. 1912)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

International Correspondence School (2)

Between 1908 and 1911, HPL took a correspondence course. This was not "fluff", but a serious course of work to which thousands of young men were subscribing.

As we see so often, Lovecraft did not live "in a vaccuum", but he responded to stimuli in magazines he read, and got diseases that other people caught, and responded uniquely to customs, mores, and historical trends.

(above: One of these men might have graded Lovecraft's chemistry papers.)

(above: Started to help educate mining engineers, by 1894 it had 25 offices and 55 instructors. By 1899 it had moved into the new Finch building, now on the National Register)

* Scranton By Cheryl A. Kashuba, Darlene Miller-Lanning, Alan Sweeney, 2005.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Winfield Scott Lovecraft, dead in his 45th year

A rare find on the 'net. This is from the Newport News.

The News - - Newport, Thursday, July 21, 1898.
LOVECRAFT - In Providence, 19th, inst., Winfield S. Lovecraft, in the 45th year of his age.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Lovecraft wrote about ancient and alien life forms. Today we are meeting them face to face. These are creatures that lived here. What awaits us ... out there?

Ancient creature from 425million years ago revealed for first time in new 3D image

A 3D computer mode of a primitive Drakozoon has been created from the only known fossilised specimen of the creature.

Drakozoon lived in the ocean during the Silurian Period, 444 to 416 million years ago, and today's model hints at how it lived. The research reveals that Drakozoon was a cone-shaped creature with a hood and it probably had a leathery exterior skin.

It was approximately 3mm long, and used filament-bearing tentacles to catch and eat organic particles in seawater. It pulled its hood down over its body for protection against predators, pulling it back again to expose its tentacles when danger passed.

Dr Mark Sutton, from the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London, says: 'We think this tiny blob of jelly survived by clinging onto rocks and hard shelled creatures, making a living by plucking microscopic morsels out of seawater.

'By looking at this primitive creature, we also get one tantalising step closer to understanding what the earliest creatures on Earth looked like.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1300238/The-blob-deep-Ancient-creature-425million-years-ago-revealed-time-new-3D-image.html#ixzz0vvVtTm3j

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Oscar C Roy

Shades of Erich Zann?

To Chrispy's knowledge, Lovecraft only learned violin from Mrs. Nauck. HPL and Roy probably never met. However, Mrs. Nauck had competition in town. Through an odd circumstance, the image of Roy was preserved and sold on Ebay. I was compelled to check it out, and discovered an ad in an old 1905 cookbook "Choice Receipts Arranged by Ladies of St. Mary's Guild of Grace Church of Providence Rhode Island" which was preserved by Google Books.

At long last, Lovecraftians, for the first time in over a century, Mr. Roy and his advertisement have been rejoined.

The seller's notes: Antique Photo of Violinist. Matted in original 6 " X 8" frame with the name "Ye Rose Studio" Providence, R.I. on bottom right corner. On the back of the Matte is written " Monsieur Oscar C. Roy - Winter 1902 - 1903". Would look great framed in an avid violinist's home.

The text of the ad.

385 Westminster St
Providence RI
Mr Roy received his Violin education from the Belgian Masters at the Royal Conservatory of Music Brussels, Belgium

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Money Lovecraft Would Wished to have Used !

If you know much about the elder Lovecraft, he day dreamed that he could walk through King George III's era as a wealthy gentleman of the Crown - Hail Britania! As such, he would have used this curency from 1744. The image is from the incomparable Virgil Finlay.

The story of how HPL got from modernist hel-bent on a career in astronomy to Grandpa Theobaldus writing werid tales is one of twists, turns, and drama. He may not have been "his own weirdest creation", but history and fate sure sent him into some odd directions.

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Tomb, 1947

Of Lovecraft's early tales, Dagon gets all the press and The Tomb has alwys been the step-child. HPL didn't even seem to like it, but he defended Dagon. Early on it appeared in Weird Tales and once in an Arkham edition, and lay dormant for decades. One bright light was its inclusion in Elinore Blaisdell's ecelctic book of death.

The gang is all here! Lovecraft, Derleth, Quinn, Bloch, Wellman, Klarkashton, Starrett, and FB Long !

And is that ever a groovy cover?

Crowell, 1947. First Edition. TALES OF THE UNDEAD VAMPIRES AND VISITANTS, Crowell, 1947, first edition. Interesting selection of stories including several lesser known yarns from WEIRD TALES. Nicely illustrated in wood-cut style by the editor; with contributions by H. P. Lovecraft, Sheridan Le Fanu, August Derleth, Seabury Quinn, H. R. Wakefield, Robert Bloch, Manly Wade Wellman, Clark Ashton Smith, F. Marion Crawford, Lafcadio Hearn, M. R. James, Vernon Lee, Frank Belknap Long, Vincent Starrett, Edith Wharton, E. F. Benson, et.al.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

International Correspondence School (1)

(circa 1910, Admin Bldg of Int'l. Corespondence School, Scranton)

Sometime in January 1908, Lovecraft discovered the International Correspondence Courses of Scranton, PA. In October 1891, the Colliery Engineer School of Mines began a correspondence school in mine technology, that rapidly expanded due to an enormous demand. By Lovecraft's era, vast numbers of students were devouring the books and courses. Upwards of $10,000 a year in postage was being used - in the days of 3 cent stamps!

This was a very serious endeavor, and a large, mature staff was fully occupied in mailings, and grading. One might compare the mail art institute that cartoonist Charles Schultz submitted to, and then worked for - which was often a crude and sham deal for students.

With a certificate from this school, HPL could easily have obtained a job. He had significant family connections in 1910 (Theodore W Phillips was gone, but TWP II was still quite vigorous and rented his house on Angell Street). Providence had numerous chemical factories, and a management job would not have been out of the question for Whipple Phillips' grandson.

Recently we saw where a date could be placed on Lovecraft contracting measles: 15-30 January 1910. His weight loss of 54 pounds was probably contributable by contracting brochio-pnemonia, and diarrhea from either influenza (the flu) or even some edyema. Edyema is less likely, as an operation to resect ribs, or to insert through incision bismuth paste would have been necessary. We can likely presume measles, pneumonia, and diarrhea. A bout of about 30 days would easily have had him lose in excess of 30% body mass. A recovery time of at least 30 days was necessary. In addition, he had recovered to see Halley's comet on or about 26 may 1910.

Early January a 10 day incubation period.
mid-late January measles, progressively worse.
Late February, disease bottoms out.
Late March, eating and drinking recovery.
Most of April to recover strength, rejoice, and making plans to resume the correspondence courses.

What happened?

He relates that organic chemistry, specifically Benzene and aromatic chemistry bested him.

The text book he used, or one like it, still exists on Google Books. Benzene begins on or about page 100, roughly half way through organic chemistry. It seems he stopped dead on that spot - whether because of his illness, or after it.

Instead, he seems to have begun to write his own textbook, of sorts. Following the proposed timeline, this dates to 3rd quarter of 1910. We give credit that HPL gave up High School, and did not attend college. He might not have even begun his correspondence course work until early 1909.

If this was, indeed, Volume 4 in a series, HPL starting in early 1909 would have taken one book per "semester" to be at Volume 4 for Summer 1910.

The textbook can be found clicking here.

Joe Pulver !!!

Joe has started a blog:


Our own Lovecraftian of great note, Laird Barron, will be penning the intro to his new Hippocampus collection, SIN & ashes [coming this fall]. S.T. is again eiditing.

And Ellen Datlow, on her Best Horror of the Year, 2009 list, gave 8 tales in BLOOD "Honorable Mentions".

Pulver, Sr. Joseph S. “A Night of Moon and Blood,Then …,”Blood Will Have Its Season.
Pulver, Sr. Joseph S. “An American TangoEndinginMadness,”Blood Will Have Its Season.
Pulver, Sr. Joseph S. “And She Walks Into the Room…” Blood Will Have Its Season.
Pulver, Sr. Joseph S. “Blood Will Have Its Season,” Blood Will Have Its Season.
Pulver, Sr. Joseph S. “Carl Lee & Cassilda,” Blood Will Have Its Season.
Pulver, Sr. Joseph S. “Erendira,” Blood Will Have Its Season.
Pulver, Sr. Joseph S. “One Side’s Ice, One’s Fire,” Blood Will Have Its Season.
Pulver, Sr. Joseph S. “Stone Cold Fever” Blood Will Have Its Season.

And Joe just had a tale in the 1st issue of "Strange Aeons" magazine.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Lovecraft Almost Dies: In Context

We place the near-death by measles of HPL at the latter half of january 1910. There was a reason - Providence was beseiged by the epidemic. 31.9 out of 100,000 died.

Read on:

Bulletin, Issue 109 By United States. Bureau of the Census

Measles was returned as the cause of 6,598 deaths in the registration area during 1910 a much larger number than in the preceding year 4,860 The death rate for 1910 was 12.3 per 100,000 population which is higher than for any year since 1900 12.5 Of the registration states in 1910 Rhode Island and North Carolina municipalities of 1,000 population or over in 1900 had the highest death rates 32.6 and 27.1 respectively High death rates were shown for the following registration cities of 100,000 population or over Pittsburgh Pa 33.1 Providence RI 31.9 Kansas City Mo 28.4 Lowell Mass 28.1 Albany N У 23.9 Columbus Ohio 23.6 Buffalo NY 22.1 and Richmond Va 21.1 Although the total mortality from measles is not so great as to make the disease appear especially formidable it is probably true that many deaths assigned to other causes are due to the unfortunate consequences of this disease For example a considerable proportion of the deaths from pneumonia especially those attributed to broncho pneumonia are in reality the result of measles and it has long been a matter of popular belief that tuberculosis results frequently from measles although of course the former is a separate infection In view of the frequency of cases in which measles is followed by some more serious disease it is very important that efforts should be made to check the epidemic prevalence of this disease

Friday, August 06, 2010

Chrispy Update

What has Chrispy been doing this week?

Time traveling.

I've been reading a great deal of mid- and late 19th cnetury documents about the Phillips' (i.e. Lovecraft) family and their acquaintances. It is an odd experience. I spend nights in the post-Civil War, Gilded era and come out in the day time to the 21st century.

I've done what i could to assemble a huge Lovecraft library - $$ !! - and for the last several years have been blessed learning other Lovecraft things through friends, and Lovecraft-oriented associates. Yet, each week I find things that have not been mentioned in fanzines, books, or elsewhere. It is an exciting time for Chrispy!

Whether you are interested in historical issues, Mythos, horror fiction, comics, or just a casual reader - I hope that you will find something of interest each posting. And remember you can always do a serach for your favorite topic using the search feature in the side bar, or look through the metatag index. If there is something I haven't yet covered, drop me an email.


A recent auction was a letter from Mrs. Galpin to Roy Squires. Notes below from seller:

"Dear Mr. Squires.....you are the only one...who could help me."

Letter from Isabella Galpin, June 10, 1984 to Roy A. Squires

Alfred Galpin was one of H. P. Lovecraft's earliest friend's and member of what became known as "The Lovecraft Circle". Even in his early twenties Lovecraft considered Galpin his intellectual superior, and Galpin proved him right as he became a noted Professor and expert in a variety of fields in addition to speaking numerous Romance languages. In his later years, Galpin returned to the States after spending many years in France and Italy, and perhaps sensing his own mortality endeavored to thin out his papers and among those papers, his Lovecraft collection including correspondence; he contacted the noted bookseller and friend of August Derleth and Clark Ashton Smith, Roy A. Squires to aid him in the disposition of those papers. Unfortunately they could not come to terms and the collection was dispersed. Following Galpin's death his wife, Isabella contacted Squires also seeking his aid...

"I have been working very hard on Alfred's papers, hundreds of them...I sent three boxes of documents to the State Historical Society of Wisconsin [where Derleth's papers are housed- t mcvickers], one to Brown University, and the last to Columbia, including 53 autographed letters by Sam [Loveman]. Following your advice, I have kept some papers, pamphlets and books concerning Lovecraft...I cannot yet send you a complete list of what I have but I shall do so as soon as possible...I could send everything to you and you could...contact possible interested collectors...With your experience and knowledge you are the only one of Alfred's friends who could help me..."

Signed "Isabella Galpin"

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Lovecraft Sketch: L W Currey Auction

If you have some "spare change" this one would be nice to add to your collection!

WALL PLAN OF GRANDPA THEOBALD'S STUDY -- MAY 2, 1924. AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT (AMs). Single sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 Hotel stationery (The Providence Biltmore, Providence, R.I.) with GROUND PLAN OF GRANDPA THEOBALD'S STUDY REVISED TO MAY 2, 1924 on verso.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

More on Derleth in Saturday Review (1959)

A few days ago I posed the following, and subsequently, Dave Goudsward was able to fill in some of the mystery.

Original post, excerpt, full text unavaialble. Saturday Review, September 19, 1959, p. 25

Sauk City's Literary Values

Apropos John Clardi's stimulating piece on the BIG TABLE controversy it
seems ... {...} ... ought to be allowed to do so. The faculty overssers
acted properly in removing these contributions from under university
sponsorship, but general censorship is another matter.

August Derleth
Sauk City, Wisconsin

The link below will explain the Big Table controversy. Essentially, U
of Chicago told the staff of the the student literary magazine Chicago
Review that they were prohibited from publishing the Winter 1959 issue
due to content. The entire issue was published as a new magazine
called The Big Table. The piece in question was an installment of
William Burroughs' The Naked Lunch, and the magazine was seized as
obscene by the Post Office and became a huge controversy about
journalistic and intellectual freedom.


Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The Lobster! In Yellow!

"...and lobstering. Everybody trades mostly either here or in Arkham or Ipswich..." The Shadow Over Innsmouth, HPL

Shades of HPL an dRobert Chambers: It came from Narrangasett Bay!

"I thought, holy cow, this is unusual," said Denny Ingram, the lobsterman who discovered the curious crustacean in one of his traps. "No one else around here has ever seen anything like it either."

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2010/08/01/2010-08-01_rare_yellow_lobster_caught_in_narragansett_bay_off_rhode_island.html#ixzz0vOHPvkzg

Monday, August 02, 2010

The Limbonaut

Numerous online copies of the EOD* periodical are on line. If you are a serious Lovecraft fan, check them out. I'll list the last several in the long series. For more, simply change the number to a new value and continue backwards to the beginning of the newsletter.






* Esoteric Order of Dagon, a select group of individuals who have a long standing round-robin exchange of scholarly and other information relating to Lovecraft, his family, his friends, his critics, and his legacy.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Derleth in Saturday Review

I wa sonly able to find a snippet, and then trace it back to an Ebay copy of Saturday Review, September 19, 1959, p.59 in the classified ads.

I can only see, "Howard Phillips Lovecraft: Correspondence and other items ..." It seems surely that this is a Derleth advertisement.


In the same issue on page 25, Derleth has a letter to the editor stating:

Sauk City's Literary Values

Apropos John Clardi's stimulating piece on the BIG TABLE controversy it seems ... {...} ... ought to be allowed to do so. The faculty overssers acted properly in removing these contributions from under university sponsorship, but general censorship is another matter.

August Derleth
Sauk City, Wisconsin

If anyone can fill in the missing controversy from this issue, please drop me an email


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